Story: Man who runs hotel, also, for kicks, owns crocodile, which likes to eat whores and poodles.
The Film Itself: Tobe Hooper’s follow-up to “The Texas Chainsaw Massacre” is always going to be compared to the genre-defining classic. I wanted to try to avoid doing that in this review, but really, Hooper set himself up for the comparisons too easily: You’ve got a nutball, who could just as well been a member of the “Chainsaw” family in a cruddy dilapidated building chasing Marilyn Burns around with sharp things.
That out of the way, “Eaten Alive” is not a bad ’70’s horror film, but it’s nothing remarkable. The problem with “Eaten Alive” is that is completely devoid of any the style that Tobe Hooper showed he was capable of delivering with “TCM”. Everything in the movie seems to have been thrown together at the last minute. Aside from Neville Brand, even the actors just show up, say their lines, and get eaten. There are some good points though: Neville Brand is great as Judd, the nutty hotel owner. There are some great scenes in which he chases a 4-year old girl under his house that are actually rather disturbing. Unfortunately, the rest of the film isn’t. This is the kind of horror movie you watch on Saturday afternoons, when it’s still light out, if nothing else is on.
Special Features: Most of “Eaten Alive” looks like it was shot with a 60 watt lightbulb It’s probably not the fault of anyone involved in the DVD production, but the picture looks like crap. Included is a very entertaining theatrical trailer. And I’ll call this a special feature, though you may not: An early performance by Robert Englund as the very horny “Buck”. – mike c.